Faraday Discussion 155: Artificial Photosynthesis

5 - 7 September 2011, Edinburgh, United Kingdom


Introduction

There is a growing conviction that the only real prospect for our long-term energy provision relies on the ability to collect and store sunlight in the form of chemical potential. The creation of artificial systems to exploit the basic chemistry of photosynthesis to produce hydrogen or other fuels is a concept that crops up each time there is an escalation in the price of oil. In addition, we need to mop up the excess carbon dioxide left over from our present era of profligate fossil fuel consumption. The net result is an upsurge in the urgency to design effective artificial photosynthetic systems. This is a global problem which grows more important on a daily basis and it will soon become the dominant scientific issue. The researchers who were highly active in the 1970s and early 1980s - a period that witnessed the great boom in solar energy research - will soon be lost and there is a real danger of future generations reinventing the wheel. It seems critical that this expertise is passed on to new researchers, with a need to focus on possible solutions to long-standing problems. 

This topical and important area of science covers many disciplines. The combination of biology, chemistry, physics and theory makes for an exciting blend of discussion points.
Aims
The aim of FD155 was to focus on possible solutions to long-standing problems in the development of artificial synthesis. These answers will not be easy to find and some highly innovative research is called for. Considerable progress has been made in understanding the fine details of natural photosynthesis and there has been an emergence and growth of nano-technology. This discussion looked at applying new knowledge to the old problems.
Themes
Electronic energy transfer
Fuel production / carbon dioxide reduction
Oxygen evolution
Integrated photo-systems
Electron transfer 
Scientific Committee
Professor Anthony Harriman (Newcastle) (Chair)
Dr Andrew C Benniston (Newcastle)
Professor Richard Cogdell (Glasgow)
Professor James Durrant (London)
Dr Anita Jones (Edinburgh)

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Venue
John McIntyre Conference Centre

John McIntyre Conference Centre, 18 Holyrood Park Road, Edinburgh, EH16 5AY, United Kingdom

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